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CSUN Hosts Philanthropy Day Awards

To celebrate National Philanthropy Day, the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater San Fernando Valley Chapter hosted an awards luncheon Nov. 12 at California State University — Northridge to honor the region’s most charitable organizations and individuals. The event was held in the Grand Salon inside CSUN’s Student Union building. The honorees included Encino Chamber of Commerce President-Elect Susan Du Brin, who won “volunteer of the year”; Tierra del Sol Foundation Board Member Karren McClenahan, who won “philanthropist of the year” for her advocacy efforts and support of individuals with developmental disabilities; affordable health clinic Queenscare, which has five locations in L.A. and won “foundation of the year”; Connor Raskin, a student at Santa Clarita Valley International Charter School who won “youth volunteer of the year” for his participation in mission trips to Puerto Rico through nonprofit Cultural Bridges’ Backpacks Full of Hope program; and the San Marino Junior Alliance, which won “volunteer organization of the year.” Also, NBC4 and anchor Colleen Williams were named “Corporation of the Year.” Williams hosts an annual charity golf tournament to raise funds for Casa Treatment Center, a drug rehabilitation facility in Pasadena. In its 24 years, the tournament has raised millions of dollars and helped tens of thousands of people access addiction treatment they couldn’t otherwise afford. Finally, the “Heart of the Valley” award was bestowed upon Belen Vargas, a former employee of the Weingart Foundation, a nonprofit grantmaking organization in L.A., and current chief mission officer of California State University – Los Angeles. Sponsoring the event were real estate firm Ethan Christopher LLC in Encino, Tierra del Sol Foundation in Sunland-Tujunga, Los Angeles Daily News in Woodland Hills and L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger. National Philanthropy Day is a celebration set aside to recognize individuals, organizations and businesses that inspire change through their significant impact on the local community. It started in Orange County in 1986. Luncheons are held around tne nation every year on a specified day in November.

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